After the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) issued a notice to the Delhi government on Friday, stating that the guidelines issued for nursery admissions to private schools for the 2011-12 academic session are against the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on similar lines in the Delhi High Court.
The PIL, filed by NGO Social Jurist, says that the final guidelines for nursery admissions issued by the Delhi government are against the provisions of the RTE Act.
The petition, a copy of which is with Newsline, says, “The order is contrary to the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, and would lead to further commercialisation of education at the cost of hapless parents and students.”
Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had on Wednesday unveiled the guidelines to be followed by private unaided schools across the Capital for nursery admissions for the next academic session. The government gave a free hand to schools, telling them to decide their own criteria for selection of students. The order had further said that the guidelines were “fair, just and reasonable, and fall within the ambit of the RTE Act”.
The petition reads, “The categorisation of children, as contemplated in the order, is tantamount to the screening procedure, which is not only prohibited by the RTE Act but is also a punishable offence.”
Social Jurist says that admission under the EWS category (for schools that have received land at concessional rates from the government) was always done through a draw of lots. “Why should two different criteria be used for the EWS, and the rest of the 75 per cent fee-paying students?” the organisation asked in its petition.
The case is expected to be heard on Wednesday.